What to Do If You Don’t Want to Invite Your Siblings to Your Wedding

Five Tips for Navigating This Tricky Situation

Laura Stolfi/Stocksy

Plenty of emotions and thoughts go into putting together your wedding guest list. Figuring out who to send an invitation to can get you thinking about all of the relationships you have in your life, from the ones you cherish dearly to the ones that might bring you more drama and discomfort than you would like.

While weddings are a time for your closest friends and family to gather around and celebrate you and your fiancé, it's also a time for you to decide how to handle the more fraught relationships in your life and determine whether or not you want to invite those people to your big day.

One relationship that might be a little rocky is the one you have with your siblings. Whether you’ve never been close with them, have major problems with them, or recently started having drama with them, here are a handful of suggestions of what to do if you end up deciding not to invite your siblings to your wedding.

1. Consider the Situation

Take a few steps back and try to really think about the situation that you are having with your siblings. Is the drama you have with them deep-rooted over many years or is it over something relatively new? If it’s not something you’re hoping to reconcile before your wedding and is something deeper, perhaps you want to ask your siblings to sit in on a therapy session with you, where a professional can help you mend your relationship, or perhaps it’s something you want to table and deal with after your wedding. Start by thinking this through before making a decision on whether or not you want to invite them to your wedding.

2. Talk to Other Family Members

With all of the wedding stress you have going on, making a big decision on whether or not to invite your siblings might be something you want to talk over with family members that you are close with and know about the situation. If you are open to it, ask for their advice. Ask if they think you should remedy the situation and send them an invitation to the wedding or if you should let it go and keep them away from potentially damaging your big day.

3. Decide How to Tell Your Siblings

Sooner or later, your siblings will find out that they are not on your wedding guest list. If you want to handle the situation in a calm way, nip the situation in the bud and inform them at the start that they won't be invited, and think about the best way to tell them. While there’s sure to be some backlash or even a potential argument, have a game plan in place for how to deal with their response. Lean on your fiancé to support you through the tough time that might come with telling your siblings that they aren’t invited to your wedding day.

4. Offer to Have a Conversation With Them

If you’re up to it, have a conversation with your siblings outlining the reasons why you decided not to invite them to your wedding. Letting them know the reasons behind your decision can allow them to get on the same page as you since they might not even have realized how damaged the relationship is. They may not even know that their past behavior has caused a problem for you.

5. Let It Go

While weddings have a way of bringing family drama to the surface, if you’re not looking to fix your relationship with your siblings, you might consider just not letting yourself get involved. You might want to leave them off the guest list and leave it at that—no conversation or drama necessary. Either way, remember that your wedding should be a fun and positive celebration and if you don’t want your siblings there, enjoy the people you do want to celebrate with—those who have taken on the role of being your unofficial family members during the good times and the bad.

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